Ink, Printers, Technology

Printer Ink Technologies Explained: Choosing Between Solvent, Eco-Solvent, UV and Latex Inks

With large-format printing, the choice of printer ink technology plays an important part in determining print quality, durability, and application suitability. GSW offers a diverse range of printers that utilise different ink technologies, including solvent, eco-solvent, UV, and pigment inks for textiles. Understanding the strengths and applications of each ink type can help you make an informed decision for your printing needs. 


Solvent Inks

Solvent inks are known for their durability and ability to adhere to a wide range of uncoated surfaces. They are perfect for outdoor applications, where weather resistance is crucial. Printers using solvent inks, such as certain models from the Mimaki SWJ series available at GSW, are ideal for creating vibrant banners, vehicle wraps, and billboards that stand the test of time. 


Eco-Solvent Inks

Eco-solvent inks offer a more environmentally friendly option, reducing harmful emissions without compromising on print quality. These inks are suited for indoor and outdoor applications, offering excellent durability and versatility. The Mimaki JV series printers and Mimaki CJV series 2-in-1 printer cutters at GSW utilise eco-solvent inks, making them a great choice for high-resolution prints on a variety of materials, including vinyl, canvas, and paper.


UV Inks

UV Inks are cured by ultraviolet light as they are printed, resulting in prints that are touch-dry immediately after printing. This technology allows for printing on a broad array of substrates, including plastics, glass, and metal. UV printers – like our Mimaki UJV series printers and our UCJV series 2-in-1 printer/cutter machines – are renowned for their print durability, vibrant colours, and high productivity rates, making them ideal for both indoor and outdoor signage, as well as industrial applications. UV Printers are eco-friendly and can be used in environmentally conscious companies; another benefit to this type of ink! 


Latex Inks

Latex inks are water-based and ec-friendly, offering an excellent alternative for indoor applications. Prints made with latex inks are odourless, with vibrant colours, but can still have an eco-solvent content in them. Latex printers have the benefit of being able to print on a wide range of coated and uncoated materials, along with being environmentally conscious. 


The Future of Ink Technologies

Looking ahead, ink technologies in large-format printing are poised for transformative developments. Bio-based inks are emerging as a sustainable alternative, promising reduced environmental impact without sacrificing quality. Advances in inkjet technology are expected to enhance print durability and expand substrate compatibility, opening new possibilities for creative and industrial applications. 


Whether you’re creating outdoor signage, vehicle branding, traffic and safety signage, indoor decor, or specialised prints, knowing which print ink technology will ensure your projects not only stand out but also stand the test of time. 


Our dedicated support team is always available to assist in choosing the best solution for your printing requirements. With our wide range of printers, inks, and print media, we’re your one-stop shop for large-format printing. Get in touch with us for more information on our printer and ink range.

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